The transfer window is closed but Chelsea have been recruiting staff to our technical team in recent days. Head coach Graham Potter has spoken for the first time about the new people who will be part of the operation.
Joe Shields is joining from Southampton as co-director of recruitment and talent, and Laurence Stewart will be joining in a new position as technical director to focus on football globally.
‘Essentially it's a collaborative approach,’ Potter explains. ‘My job as head coach is to support that process but it's the early stages. I think we're still appointing and getting everything organised but I'm really excited.
‘It's a key part of how we can be successful because you can have all the resources in the world but if they're not aligned, you can waste a lot of money in this league. So that's an important part of our future and how we want to try to develop.’
The first opportunity for player recruitment will be at the start of the new year and that is a prospect Potter also shares his thoughts on.
‘You have to look at January as a complicated window. As we get closer to it we will sit down and discuss strategy and options. With my job as head coach, we’ve just had nine matches in October and six away ones, so the focus is on preparing the team and helping the players that are here.
‘Thankfully, we've got a good recruitment department emerging so that they can focus on that and my job can be to help the team but also support that area as well.’
Turning the recruitment conversation clock back to the final few weeks of his time at Brighton, Potter talks about two young players he took there from Chelsea – midfielder Billy Gilmour on a permanent transfer and defender Levi Colwill on loan. Gilmour is yet to start a match for Brighton while Colwill, who is ineligible to play against the Blues this weekend, has made two substitute appearances.
Potter says it is not certain they would have enjoyed more minutes had he remained as the Seagulls’ manager.
‘That’s because the team was doing well, the team was fourth, and Webster, Dunk and Veltman are three very good players and Levi would have to battle to get into there, and Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo are two big players so Billy would as well.
‘I think both knew their role but clearly the timing of me leaving was not great for them but it’s part of life. It's not something I should say sorry for but I acknowledge that it isn't great from their perspective, the timing is not ideal.
‘But in life sometimes these opportunities come up and they come up at a time that isn't ideal. They're both good young players with a bright future and at a good club with good people that look after them. We'll see how they go.’